Internet as a preferred source of cancer information among those without a history of cancer
Health care experiences and trust of health information sources are associated with health information-seeking, which in turn has been shown to influence cancer screening and cancer prevention behaviors. Individuals who experience poor communication with providers and those who trust information from the Internet might use the Internet to fulfill unmet health information needs. Our objective was to examine, among those without a history of cancer, whether trust of information sources (doctors and the Internet) and patient-centered communication are associated with a preference for using the Internet first in the event of a strong need for cancer information. We analyzed data from the Health Information National Trends Survey 4 Cycle 2, limiting the sample to respondents with no history of cancer (n=3135). We conducted weighted logistic regressions adjusting for sociodemographic and other characteristics. Approximately 25% reported that they would use the Internet first if they had a strong need for cancer information. Higher levels of patient-centered communication were significantly associated with lower odds of preferring to use the Internet first (AOR=0.64; CI: 0.48, 0.85). Those who trusted cancer information from the Internet “a lot” (AOR=7.55; CI: 3.63, 15.71) and “some” (AOR = 3.50, CI: 1.92, 6.39) had significantly higher odds of preferring to use the Internet first versus those who trusted “a little or not at all.” Trust of cancer information from doctors was not associated with a preference for first seeking cancer information from either the Internet or providers. These findings have implications for cancer education, communication, and prevention.
Chronic disease management and prevention
Communication and informatics
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Identify significant predictors of using the Internet as a preferred source of cancer information among those with no cancer history.
Discuss how patient-centered communication and trust of information sources might influence information-seeking preferences for cancer information.
Keyword(s): Communication, Technology
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a postdoctoral scholar with training in data analysis and experience working with large datasets. I have conducted research related to understanding predictors of Internet information-seeking.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.